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Blugold hits nothing but net in dream job with Globetrotters

| Scott Procter

Finding the perfect career is not an easy task, and often people dread the daily grind at work. Emily Kidd is not one of those people.

As an athletic trainer for the Harlem Globetrotters, Emily approaches each day at work with passion, energy and excitement.

A 2012 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, Emily said her solid educational background, and a little luck, helped her land her dream job.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in athletic training at UW-Eau Claire, Emily pursued her master’s in applied kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. While she was in graduate school, Emily received a phone call at her office. When the caller ID flashed “Harlem Globetrotters,” Emily was intrigued. Emily answered the call and found herself talking with the tour manager of the Harlem Globetrotters, who were visiting the Target Center for a game that weekend. The tour manager was calling to inquire about lining up local athletic trainers, and Emily, who was working with the University of Minnesota swim team at the time, volunteered to help the world-famous basketball team.

“After that game, I would just occasionally send emails saying that I'd love to be considered for a more long-term position if anything ever became available,” Emily said. “Finally, in the spring of 2016 I got a response saying ‘yes,’ they did need someone for about two months. I did a couple of phone interviews shortly after, and was on the road about a week later.”

A soccer player for the Blugolds during her time at UW-Eau Claire, Kidd said she liked the idea of landing a job where she could continue to work with athletes and be a part of a team. She pursued her degree in athletic training while earning a minor in Spanish for health professions at UW-Eau Claire.

Working as an athletic trainer for an exhibition basketball team that has been hitting the hardwood for close to 100 years is “So much fun all the time,” Emily said. The job combines everything that she is passionate about: athletics, comedy and traveling.

Of course, the Globetrotters are so much more than a basketball team. Emily enjoys interacting with fans and handing out merchandise and mementos to eager fans in the stands.

“All of the community outreach and work with youth that the organization does is wonderful as well,” Emily said. “They travel all over to spread joy to children and their families. It is a fantastic work environment, and I'm very fortunate to be a part of it.”

Emily attributes some of her success to the education and mentoring she received from the athletic training staff at UW-Eau Claire. Emily said being encouraged to be comfortable with trying new things and learning to ask questions while at UW-Eau Claire helped her develop the confidence that helped her land her dream job.

Garry Grant, a senior lecturer in kinesiology and head athletic trainer at UW-Eau Claire, delivered words of wisdom and encouragement for Emily when she was pursuing her degree.

“I remember Garry telling me to worry less about if I figured out exactly what is wrong or diagnosing the injury, and focus more on my treatment plan and if it worked,” Kidd said.

Grant remembers Kidd during her time at UW-Eau Claire as “one the best students” to ever come through the program. He said considering Emily’s energetic personality, dedication and interest in sports, he is not surprised by her success.

“I’m extremely proud of Emily for what she’s accomplished,” Grant said. “I think she has a perfect fit with the Globetrotters because it gives her a chance to stretch her boundaries and really apply her skills.”  

Emily is yet another example of a Blugold using the lessons learned at UW-Eau Claire, coupled with talent and passion, to land a job she is excited to go to every day.

“Even though it is both physically and mentally exhausting, I’m always smiling when I’m out there.”

Photo caption: Emily Kidd, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2012, is traveling the world as an athletic trainer with the Harlem Globetrotters. (Photo submitted by Emily Kidd.)